BELGRADE: Serb football federation president Tomislav Karadzic has insisted that he will not budge in his opposition to any sort of football recognition for Kosovo writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Karadzic was responding to the national news agency, Tanjug, on his return from a meeting with the Kosovars organised by world federation FIFA in Zurich.
Kosovo has been seeking an accommodation from the international football authorities while it is unable to gain formal access to membership of FIFA and UEFA because it does not possess formal recognition by the United Nations.
Zurich earlier this week saw the latest in a series of meetings between federations leaders Fadil Vokkri from Kosovo and Karadzic from Serbia, whose Russian-backed government claims Kosovo as its own territory.
Afterwards, FIFA suggested some sort of minimal progress might have been made.
A statement from the world federation said: “The FAS and FFK agreed to further discuss potential ways to promote football in Kosovo with the ultimate objective of finding a mutually beneficial solution.
“The parties agreed to meet again by the end of November ahead of the upcoming meeting of the FIFA Executive Committee that will take place on December 4 and 5.”
It was Blatter’s impatience with UEFA intransigence the issue which prompted him to launch negotiations early last year. The Serbs made minor concessions over youth football but the Kosovars will not accept anything short of a right to organise international matches, albeit not in formal competition.
Karadzic suggested he and the Serb FA were not prepared to accept anything at all while Kosovo remains without UN recognition.
He said that all Kosovo demands had been rejected.
Karadzic added: “The Kosovar association continued to seek permission from FIFA to play an official game with a national anthem and national symbols, to take part in qualifying matches, but this is absolutely not accepted.
“I will not, until they are members of the United Nations.
“Our position is clear on this issue and we will continue to stand by it.”
The status Kosovar football has never been higher with a number of exiled players taking a leading role in an increasing number of national teams elsewhere in Europe , including the Swiss side who have qualified for the World Cup finals.
Manchester United’s teenage prodigy Adnan Januzaj, who has yet to declare himself for any particular national football tean, would qualify to play for Kosovo.